Treasure Hunt: Finite-State Automata

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In this computer science activity about finite-state automaton (on page 45 of the PDF), learners use a map and choose various pathways to find Treasure Island. They learn that different pathways will lead them to dead-ends, continuous circles, or to their goal. This activity includes a simpler demonstration activity and one whole class activity. Background information about finite-state automaton and computer programming is included.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Simulation


Materials List (per student)

  • For Class:
  • 1 set of Island cards (copied from p51-54)
  • 7 Students to represent islands
  • For Each Student:
  • Copy of Islands Map (p50)
  • pencil


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Computing
      • Computer Science
      • Information Systems
      • Information Technology
    • Technology
      • Information and Communication
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • Creative Commons: Non-commercial No Derivatives (by-nc-nd), ,

Funding Source:

  • Google, Inc.